Rworange's reply to my thread about Panaderia Ortiz in Escondido led me to my latest discovery in my North County Regional Mexican cuisine quest.
I decided to head West on the 78 to vista in search of this tortilleria with the fabled blue corn saturday morning tortillas. I also had heared that the latino population hovers somewhere around 40% - so I was bound to make a few dicoveries.
The tortilla factory is located on 218 Main St. but you'll now youve reached your destination by virtue of the scent of corn in the air alone. There is an impressive sign and some nice carnceria-style folk art painted outside -- depicting the tortilla making.
Inside, you step into to a narrow market and to your left you hear the charteristic 'pat-pat' of the tortilla makers slapping tortillas - hot off the press - together.
I was checking out the meat counter towards the back which looked really nice, and noticed a sign and empty steam tables. "Birria de chivo, rico carnitas, barbacoa, menudo estilo Jalisco y Tamales" but Saturday and sunday only. man!
Then the man who was stocking kindly asked if I needed any help. I began to ask him about the prepared food on the weekends and he started to really light up -- pretty passionate foodie, and obviously pround of the operation. Turns out his name is Elias and he is from Guadaljara. Really cool guy. I had told him how I had feasted on the speciality of his town, a torta ahogada in Santa Ana only the day previous and man was he jealous!
We began to talk about the Tamales and how the style they primarily prepare is from Jalisco and DF, both places he had lived. Then I got really excited because he started to tell me that they do different tamales rotating throughout the year in addition to the typical verde and rojo. Right now they have chicken mole.
Then paydirt! He told me of a special tamale from coastal Sinaloa which I had only read about in DK's Essential Cuisines of Mexico. It's a shrimp tamal or Tamales de Cameron, with the little whiskers enclosed and all! The downside is that they only make them in March and April. Another interesting variation was a dweet black bean.
I'll be back on Sabado - he told me to be sure to pick up their famous carnitas and Tortillas de Maiz Morado/
Thanks rworange for the great tip. This place is truly a treasure.